West Hills College Lemoore officials said as administrators gathered in a campus conference room for emergency preparedness training, student Jessylyn Domingo was having an emergency of her own. She was giving birth just outside on a campus bench.
They said administrators undergoing the Incident Command System (ICS) training on Oct. 18 were learning how to handle emergency situations on campus, and when they first heard the news, they thought it was a test. But for several faculty members still on their way to training, it was the real thing.
"Incidentally, we were going through our ICS training for our next drill, and when we heard that someone was having a baby on campus, we all thought it was part of the planning," said Don Warkentin, president of WHCL. "To say the least, we were definitely surprised that it was the real deal. We are so thankful that it all went well and that our staff responded very professionally."
College officials said shortly after 8 a.m., Domingo sat down to rest outside her math class in the 200 wing after taking a quiz. A few minutes later, she realized her baby was on his way. Leo Orange, learning skills program assistant, was nearby and called for medical assistance.
"It was just crazy," said Domingo. "The guy, I'm grateful whoever he was. He was the first one to come help me besides my mom. She just pulled up literally seconds after the baby came out and literally seconds after that other guy arrived."
They said that man was Charles Freeman, R.N. and district director of health careers. He was on his way to the ICS training when Orange called him over to help. Freeman went to assist the mother and tied the umbilical cord. He stayed with Domingo and the baby until they were transported to the hospital at 8:30 a.m.
"I was really impressed with the mother," said Freeman. "She was really calm and had a sense of humor."
Landen Alexander was 7 pounds, 14 ounces and 21 inches long at birth. Mother and son are home and doing well.